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Integrating Healthcare Seminar: A Fireside Chat with Patricia Hewitt and Professor Claire Fuller

healthcare

In a first of a series of features, Patricia Hewitt and Claire Fuller talk passionately about ways to implement their reports at Chamber’s Integrating Healthcare Seminar highlighting examples of best practice from across the health and care sector from across London and the South East.

In a captivating fireside chat, former Secretary of State for Health and Author of The Hewitt Review, Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt and author of the Fuller Stocktake Review, Professor Claire Fuller engaged in a thought-provoking discussion about their respective reports and visions for integrated care systems.

As Chair of the Norfolk and Waveney Integrative Care Partnership, Hewitt shared her optimism about the progress made thus far. In conversation, Chief Executive of Surrey Heartland’s Integrated Care System, Professor Fuller discussed her views on neighbourhood teams and the challenges they face in transforming healthcare delivery.

Embracing the Vision

In a unique conversation, both speakers underscored the positive developments resulting from their reports. Hewitt highlighted that the vision she outlined in her review is proving to be deliverable. In a significant achievement, all 42 systems have submitted their baselines, and the implementation of integrated neighbourhood teams is already showing tangible results. Demand reduction, decreased escalation beds, and streamlined urgent care pathways are some of the early achievements of the integrated care systems.

Shifting Toward Collaborative Care

A central theme that emerged from their conversation was the importance of moving away from the traditional top-down approach to healthcare management. Both speakers emphasised the need for collaboration among different healthcare providers, acknowledging that vertical silos with separate targets hinder the transformative potential of integrated care systems.

“Top down is not the way to get the transformation we need.”

Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt

Professor Fuller discussed the significance of end-to-end pathways and how breaking away from fragmented projects with separate funding streams is essential. She advocated for a more holistic approach, where provider collaboratives work together seamlessly, ultimately resulting in better patient outcomes.

The Role of General Practice

All too often in conference discussions surrounding integrated care, the voice of primary care is missing. In a refreshing change in focus, primary care was a significant focus across all the sessions.

The conversation shifted to the role of general practice in the evolving healthcare landscape. While acknowledging the value of well-functioning GP partner-led practices, the speakers recognised that not all practices are operating at the same level. They both supported the idea of defining outcomes for communities and patients first, rather than focusing solely on the business model of general practice.

“We want to improve patient outcomes and look after people better and everybody will say we want to improve health inequalities.” Professor Claire Fuller

Professor Fuller highlighted the need to protect continuity and the doctor-patient relationship that underpins the NHS. Acknowledging that fewer GPs want to be partners, she stressed the importance of supporting salaried GPs and facilitating easier routes for practices to become part of large group practices.

Defining Healthcare Outcomes and Tailored Solutions

During the fireside discussion, the speakers agreed on the necessity of defining outcomes that cater to the needs of diverse communities and individuals. Recognising that local factors and circumstances significantly influence the ideal healthcare model, they warned against designing solutions from a centralised perspective. Instead, they called for more agile, adaptable, and locally responsive approaches to ensure healthcare services align with specific needs.

Final Thought

The fireside chat between Hewitt and Professor Fuller provided valuable insights into the future of integrated care systems and neighbourhood teams. Their shared optimism about the potential of such systems, combined with a commitment to collaborative care and a focus on outcomes, promises to usher in a new era of healthcare delivery that is both responsive and patient centric.

As they continue to explore innovative solutions, the path ahead will be paved by a balance of national direction and locally tailored implementations, keeping patients’ well-being at the core of the transformation.

Delivery, delivery and more delivery was the key message from the session. There is already buy in from the Integrated Care Systems on both the Fuller and Hewitt reviews – now the time is for the system to turn this into tangible results.

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The full video can be watched here:

Curia’s NHS and Life Sciences Commission

Following the successful launch of the NHS Innovation and Life Sciences Commission’s 2022 Report, the Commission will appraise the outlined recommendations in 2023. This will allow a measurement of success to be taken on each implementation and a review of new priorities for the NHS and life sciences industry. The Commission will continue to review case studies to highlight best practice for the 2022 recommendations. Through a series of sprints, the Commission will highlight real-world experiences in regions across the UK. Through targeted health data mapping, relevant areas of unmet need and health inequalities can be chosen. Each sprint may appraise one or multiple topic areas from the 2022 report.

The Commission will also hold dedicated inquiry sessions into specific system-level and therapeutic areas of focus. Using the same methodology, the inquiries will provide opportunities for the Commission to gain implementable solutions to these areas and develop similar policy recommendations and reports.

The Commission will continue periodic consultation with selected advisory group bodies and sponsors to steer the methodology and direction of the 2023 activities.

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